The Soyuz TMA-13, carrying computer game rich guy, son of an astronaut, and current space tourist Richard Garriott has successfully docked with the International Space Station as of 8:26 GMT (3:26 EST). The three-man crew just finished floating around in orbit for a few days, and are now commencing their scheduled missions. For the two astronauts, that means spending six months building new life support equipment for future crews; for Garriott, that means ten days of floating around, giggling and getting sick on piles of freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream.
He'll also be carrying out some scientific duties, photographing the earth's surface to compare to pictures taken nearly 40 years ago by his father. Whether they'll be able to fix their most pressing problem — a broken toilet — will be apparent in a few days. Garriott's crew will be installing a second facility and repairing the first, which has performed sporadically over the last few months. It remains to be seen whether or not game design skills transfer to zero-gravity toilet repair, but if not the results could be spectacular. [BBC]